Islamabad: Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan today released a video of its militants holding a Shoulder Launch Missile, which the militant group claimed to have used in downing a Pakistan military helicopter killing ambassadors of the Philippines and Norway and five others in the PoK.
A video released by a jihadist media forum shows at least four masked militants with the surface-to-air missile (SAM-7 B) allegedly used in hitting the Mi-17 that crashed in Naltar valley of Gilgit-Baltisitan in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
In a written message in Urdu just before the start of the video, the militant group claimed that the helicopter was turning due to which the missile hit the tail rotor of the helicopter so it did not get destroyed fully in the air. The message claimed that the missile was fired from a distance of 3 kilometers to down the helicopter on Friday. The Russian SAM-7 Model or SAM-7 B can hit a target up to a distance of 3 kilometres.
The SITE Intelligence Group, a US-based website that monitors extremist groups, also put video on its website. Norwegian envoy Leif H Larsen and Domingo D Lucenario Jr of the Philippines were killed along with the wives of the Malaysian and Indonesian ambassadors, besides two army pilots and a Pakistani crew member after the helicopter crashed.
The Taliban had claimed responsibility for the downing of the chopper and said premier Nawaz Sharif was their target. “The helicopter was shot down by an anti-aircraft missile, killing pilots and many foreign ambassadors,” TTP's main spokesman Muhammad Khorasani had claimed after the crash. “A special group of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan had prepared a special plan to target Nawaz Sharif during his visit but he survived because he was travelling in another helicopter,” he had said.
Pakistan Army, however, ruled out the possibility of any terrorist or subversive activity in the crash and said the chopper crashed due to a technical fault while landing. Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry yesterday rejected the Taliban claim, saying initial probe showed engine failure caused the mishap.